UPDATE 3-Mexico factory exports flat, consumer imports sag in July

Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:28am EDT

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MEXICO CITY Aug 26 (Reuters) - Mexico's trade deficit narrowed in July as factory exports remained steady while consumer imports sagged amid faltering economic growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy.

Consumer goods imports dipped 1.69 percent compared with June, suggesting weaker domestic demand, according to seasonally adjusted data released on Monday by the national statistics agency.

Mexico's economy slowed in the second quarter from the first, the first quarter-on-quarter contraction in four years, which prompted the government last week to cut its growth estimate for the year to 1.8 percent from 3.1 percent.

Manufactured goods, including automotive parts and motor vehicles, make up a large part of Mexico's exports.

In July, factory exports edged up 0.03 percent, though automotive exports fell 0.83 percent compared with June and adjusted for seasonal swings. Mexico sends nearly 80 percent of its exports to the United States.

Manufactured exports, excluding vehicles, rose 0.43 percent compared with the previous month.

Mexico posted a $366 million trade deficit in July when adjusted for seasonal swings, compared with a revised $417.4 million trade deficit posted in June.

In non-seasonally adjusted terms, Mexico posted a trade deficit of $1.44 billion last month.

Despite disappointing economic data, Finance Minister Luis Videgaray has said he expects growth to rebound in the second half and has stuck to expectations for growth of around 4 percent in 2014.

Monday's data showed imports of capital goods rose 5.59 percent in July, the biggest boost since February on a seasonally adjusted basis. A rise in imports of capital goods tends to herald an upcoming boost in industrial output.

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